TV Recap

A Banner Day

On ''Big Brother,'' an airplane with a message to the houseguests flies overhead, disrupting the all-powerful Dick alliance

Big Brother | AMBER ALERT The plane said she and Eric are liars
Image credit: Cliff Lipson
AMBER ALERT The plane said she and Eric are liars

''Big Brother'' special: An aerial attack

The mysterious appearance of that banner — and the delicious fallout that came with it — prompted me to file this special Monday-morning Big Brother TV Watch, but beware, this column is chock-full of spoilers, so wait until Thursday if you don't want to know what happens.

First things first (and this has nothing to do with last night's episode): According to many eagle-eyed feed fans, it appears that some kind of détente has been achieved between Jen and Dick. Some of the HGs have indicated that Dick finally got a whuppin' from the producers in the diary room, and he supposedly apologized (!) to Jen. I'm shocked, of course, though I'd like to think our complaining to the network worked. Still, it's hard to gauge how much influence we have with a game like this. As it is, I'm still flummoxed by this whole America's player twist and just how much power I have to dictate Eric's every move. (You mean to tell me that Dick has never come in first in the vote for which houseguest Eric should try to get eliminated?) Besides, if I had my way, spraying condiment juice on one of Jen's T-shirts would be the last thing I'd ask for. I'd rather have Eric try to pick a fight with Dick by insulting him about his parenting skills, if not advocate for Dick's ouster on a daily basis.

What's a bit odd, however, is how the unexpected truce has led to a new alliance of Jen, Dick, and Daniele — if spoilers on the message boards are to be believed. On the one hand, I've always wondered if Dick had just been behaving like those grade school boys who used to punch the girls they realllllly liked. Maybe Dick had a crush on Jen all this time? Eh, fuhgeddaboudit, I stopped believing that the minute I wrote it. Obviously Dick and Daniele see the value in taking an unpopular player like Jen to the end because no one would give such a hateful woman the cash (or would they?). Dick and Daniele are also realizing they've aligned themselves with a few duplicitous weenies — a realization they no doubt came to after seeing that banner that called out Eric and Amber as liars and said, ''LNC is the Nerd Herd.''

For the uninitiated, the Nerd Herd is a throwback to season 6, when nurse Maggie and her whiny minions teamed up to overtake Kaysar, Janelle, and Howie. Maggie may have snagged the final prize, but Kaysar and Co. won the hearts of fans. In fact, from what I heard, Maggie's return to civilization was anything but victorious. According to one high-placed source, Maggie apparently lost her job at her hospital — a decision based solely on her appearance on Big Brother — until the producers put in a good word to get her rehired. (If anyone knows more, please post below.) I've often thought about calling Maggie, April, and Yvette to see how civilian life treated them after BB — though I'm pretty sure I know the answer: Like crap.

Now the presence of this banner is suggesting that the Dickheads (thanks for the nifty nickname, kids!) could face a similar fate if they continue to follow their abusive leader like sheep. (Which reminds me: A perceptive poster from San Diego named Tod says Dick looks like Tommy Lee, Jen looks like Heidi Fleiss, and Daniele is a slam dunk for Tiger Woods' Swedish wife. Random, I know, but pretty dead-on — don't you think?).

I digress. Daniele, as I expected, nominated Jen and Kail for eviction last night, but the banner may have prompted her to rethink the nominations. Supposedly, that little surprise she promised at the end of last night's episode is to backdoor Eric on Tuesday should someone use the POV. (Spoilers have been posted about the POV winner, but I'm going to beg off that topic for now.)

Naturally, some of you skeptics believe that CBS is to blame for Daniele's decision to turn on a fellow Dickhead; it's your contention that the producers should have prevented the HGs from seeing the banner. I say: hogwash. Short of positioning a full-time spotter at the local airport in Van Nuys, there's little CBS can do to prevent these flybys — especially if one occurs while an HOH competition is under way. (In the past, BB has quickly sequestered the HGs when a banner has flown over, and according to TMZ, the show's production company, Endemol, recently sent a cease-and-desist letter to a pilot who was planning to circle the house with a banner saying that Eric is America's player.) As for the source of the flyby, I'm going to give producer Allison Grodner and her team the benefit of the doubt: They aren't low enough to manipulate the game with a stunt like that. Flybys over the BB house are now an annual tradition (I happen to live about five minutes away from it and see them regularly), and there's no reason to assume that CBS is the wise guy here. (The network could also face lawsuits by contestants or even prosecution under federal game-show laws if it seemed the proceedings were rigged.) Besides, the producers should know by now that no matter how much they may attempt to goose the game, it's ultimately up to the players to make it interesting. (Exhibit A: Last year's coup d'état. Nice twist, producers! Too bad Boogie didn't use it.) Dr. Will said it himself in his Q&A with ew.com.

That said, I have to admit I'm hard-pressed to come up with some other culprits who may have been responsible for the plane. Former players like Mike Boogie and, yes, Dr. Will certainly have the means; both are very successful with their investments and their TV appearances, and Dr. Will did indicate in his Q&A that he loves to play this game. What's more, he all but admitted that Jen is their plant in the house, and such a banner could ultimately help the girl in the long run. But is Chill Town really to blame?

Either way, I'm happy that the heat is off Jen and that Daniele and Dick are suspecting Eric. That doesn't mean I necessarily think the guy deserves to get the boot. I think BB gave him a raw deal by making him America's player. He's now in an untenable situation because of that banner, and no amount of fast talking will save his rep. (Still, he was pretty damn impressive opposite Dick last night; can you imagine if BB had given the inarticulate Jen the honor as America's player, instead?) But I certainly won't be disappointed if Daniele succeeds in her quest to backdoor Eric. I have grown tired of the twist and long for an episode when we don't see the overly eager Eric get all giddy over his latest task.

Onto other topics before I sign off until Thursday. On the message board, someone made the interesting point that Howie was just as abusive to April in season 6, and yet we never raised a ruckus about him. A poster named Labrat called some of us out on our hypocrisy: ''I thought the bully from BB6 was Howie, who America loved along with Janie. He was verbally abusive to April, Maggie, and Yvette, got right in their faces, and didn't care if he made them cry. Yet everyone loved him so much they brought him back for All-Stars. Janie always called Maggie a bitch to her face, and everyone loved her too. What is the difference? Neither case is acceptable.'' I have to...begrudgingly agree, with a caveat. While I do remember far too many ''Busto'' comments from Howie, I certainly don't recall the big guy abusing April round the clock the way Dick has done to Jen. Nevertheless, I'm trying to track down Howie to hear what he has to say about his past behavior. Stay tuned.

So what do you think? Is Eric getting a raw deal? Is an alliance of Jen, Dani, and Dick possible? And are you ready to call the final two?

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Originally posted Aug 06, 2007
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